Estee Nena Dillard
SpiRitualist Scholar. Ancestral Storyteller. Queer Sexologist.
A native of Macon, Ga., Estee Nena Dillard’s work is discovering the ways that theological formation, spiritual care and ritual transform wellness, especially for African Diasporan people. As a black feminist/womanist practitioner, her foci are the interconnectedness of spirituality/sexuality and embodiment, expanding the discourse on [Black][Queer] erotic power through a womanist methdology, and spiritual formation particularly through ritual. Estee attended Spelman College and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Women’s Studies with a minor in Public Health. She was licensed and ordained in the gospel ministry at Rize Community Church where she continues to serve as the Minister of Ritual and Spiritual Formation. Estee also earned a Master of Divinity with Graduate Certificates in Black Church Studies and Faith/Public Health Collaborative from Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Through work in the West African Orisa Tradition and the Nation of Ndugu and Nzingha, she studies and curates African ancestral traditions and spiritual practices of the diaspora. In 2020, Estee became a certified Reiki Practitioner and was also affirmed as Iyalosa. Above all, Estee seeks to answer Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall’s ancestral, clarion call, “I stood in the authenticity of my being: Black, preacher, [priest], [ritualist], Baptist, [Southern] [queer] woman. For the same God who made me a preacher made me a woman(ist), and I am convinced that God was not confused on either account.” She resides in Atlanta with her amazing partner Brandisha and their loving dog Reese.